Tudor Lodge Title
Karl Blore ~ Tudor Lodge’s Manager
Tudor Lodge Title

During 1970, we were playing just as often as we could. Calling in to as many folk clubs as possible, just to play a floor set, in the hope of getting booked. A regular haunt at that time was the Troubadour in Earls Court Road, especially on a Saturday night. On one occasion, we met a guy called John Ross, and mentioned that we were planning to go to another club, the Crucible, in a few days time. John knew Karl, and suggested he should go and see us. It was a miserable evening, cold and wet, and the Crucible was home to a lot of “free jazz” which was a far cry from our folk music, and not something we really understood. But we stayed, and we played a few songs. We met Karl, and went back to his house, and discussed the possibility of him becoming our manager. We all agreed to give it a go. Karl launched himself completely into the project. He secured gigs across the country, including tours around Teeside and the West Country. We even got a week’s residency in Morocco.

Within a few short months, he had secured a record deal with Phonogram on the prestigious Vertigo label. Recording took place in early 1971, and the album was produced by Terry Brown, who sadly died in 2004. This album has now become one of the most collectable items of that era. It is sought after for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Spiral Years of Vertigo are all collectable. Secondly, the album cover was so original and striking. It folded out into a huge poster of black pen and ink sketches of us, loosely based on our star signs. The design was done by Phil Duffy, and was based on a style concept given to him by Karl, who also worked with Terry on the production. Thirdly, I like to think that the musical content has something to do with it. Without Karl though, the album would not have been what it was, and indeed, may never have happened at all. After the release of the album in the summer of 1971, Karl managed to get us booked onto the bill of the 7th Cambridge Folk Festival. We also played at the last of the great “happenings” of the time — the huge Whealey Festival, with over 150,000 people. 1972 started with a tour of Holland, however, the work load during the end of 1971 had taken its toll on Anne, who left the group, and Karl asked a good friend of his, Linda Peters, to step in for the Holland tour. This included small clubs, large concert halls, a festival, and a radio show. Unfortunately, on our return, Linda decided this was not really her style, and left. This was no doubt a good move for her as she went on to much greater success as Linda Thompson, with husband Richard. At that time, we just could not see a way forward, and we disbanded — until reforming in 1980.

Looking back, whilst we were always wanting more success than we had, there is no doubt now that we achieved a great deal, in a short space of time. It is also true that much of this is down to Karl’s hard work, without which we would not have so many good memories, not to mention the album.

Thanks Karl...

Of all the people I have met in my life, Karl has to be the most interesting character of all. His life has been full of variety from the word go. He has a thousand stories to tell, and has been promising to put them into a book for years. He tells me he has made a start — having completed the first 700 pages, he’s almost reached the point where he leaves school...

Just another 3000 pages to go then; better get cracking...

Karl Karl Karl Karl

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